It’s hard to predict the future. When science-fiction writers have tried to imagine what life will be like 50 or 100 years from now, they’ve come up with some shocking possibilities: hoverboards, a moon colony, robots that fold our laundry for us, etc. Some predictions have come true (minus the laundry-folding robot), and others linger in the realm of possibility. But one thing is certain: the metaverse will be a force.
What’s the metaverse? It’s a term coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 sci-fi book “Snow Crash” to describe an interconnected virtual universe where humans can socialize, shop, and do all sorts of other things at any time of day or night with anyone else in any location across the globe.
The metaverse is the concept of a shared, persistent, and connected virtual world. It’s a world in which users interact with the environment through their avatars, or digital representations of themselves. Think about how that would change your experience if you were playing a game or participating in an event with other people around the world simultaneously — you’d be able to talk via voice chat or text chat regardless of what platform they’re using.
The metaverse won’t just change how you interact with people; it will change how brands interact with customers. How will all these advances affect brand loyalty?
Consumers Expect Brands to Enter the Metaverse
In the metaverse, you can expect to see brand experiences in new ways. Brands won’t just sell products; they will also create a sense of community and connection with other people. In fact, it’s likely consumers will expect brands to enter the metaverse and expect their experience to be interactive and engaging.
Brands Are Already in the Metaverse
You may wonder how the metaverse is already affecting brand loyalty. Some brands have a presence in the metaverse and are already interacting with users in it. They’re doing so by creating virtual stores, distributing branded products, and even designing experiences that combine real-life social interaction with VR technology. As such, brands have started using this new medium to interact with customers, and they will continue to do so as more people get into virtual reality.
How Brand Loyalty Will Change With Virtual Reality
In the past, brand loyalty was limited to physical products or services that could be offered in exchange for money. With the rise of digital marketing and social media, businesses have created new ways to interact with their customers — and thus offer new incentives for brand loyalty. The metaverse offers an entirely new way for businesses to interact with their customers — through a simulated environment where they can meet up and discuss anything.
The Metaverse Will Change How Users Interact with Brands
The metaverse is the ultimate brand experience, and it will change how people interact with their favorite brands. Instead of being bombarded by traditional advertisements or promotions from big companies, users will only see what they want to see when they want to see it. In this way, brands will be forced to adopt strategies and design experiences that resonate with their audiences, a challenge many have struggled with for years.
While things will evolve over time, it’s important for brands to interact with customers in a way that doesn’t disrupt the consumer’s experience. That would be obtrusive in the same way a telemarketing call is when you’re trying to relax. It should also involve consumer interaction. By creating immersive and interactive experiences, you can build brand awareness and customer loyalty.
The metaverse can also mirror and reinforce the marketing you do in real life. In the metaverse, you can sell virtual goods to digital avatars and create your own virtual stores and venues that are similar to your physical ones to further reinforce your brand’s message.
The other major shift will be how brands advertise in this new environment. Instead of passively pushing out marketing messages through traditional channels like TV commercials and billboards, metaverse companies will create experiences based on what fans actually like and encourage them to engage with that experience.
As discussed, the metaverse has great potential to transform how users interact with brands. Consumers are already entering and engaging in VR worlds and expect brands to follow them. Many brands are responding by creating unique experiences that build loyalty through fun and interactivity, instead of traditional advertising techniques such as ads, discounts, and free trials.
It’s clear consumers want more from their favorite companies than just a transaction. They want an experience that helps them feel connected, whether it’s to a product or another user who loves it, too (or both!). The metaverse will help make this possible in unprecedented ways, and your brand can start taking advantage now!